Brightseed Closes $68M To Accelerate A.I.-Led Exploration of Nature for Health Solutions

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Building on Its Novel Discoveries and Data Offerings, Brightseed To Launch FDA-GRAS Ingredients For Consumer Health and Food & Beverage Companies

Brightseed’s co-founders Lee Chae, PhD.; Sofia Elizondo; Jim Flatt, PhD.

“Discovering and mapping natural bioactives to human health benefits was just the first step for Brightseed. Now, we’re launching clinically-studied ingredients and insights to illuminate the hidden potential in nature to restore human health.” - Jim Flatt, co-founder and CEO of Brightseed

Brightseed, a biosciences company and creator of Forager®, a computational platform that illuminates the connections between nature and human health, today announced $68 million in Series B funding led by Temasek, with participation from existing and new investors. The new funding will enable Brightseed to advance natural compound discovery and clinical validation, and launch the company’s first FDA-GRAS ingredient from a new commercialization center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Nature holds an incredibly rich and largely uncharted source of powerful, natural bioactives that create health benefits in humans, and we’re now able to access and integrate them into products for food and health industries,” said Jim Flatt, PhD., co-founder and CEO of Brightseed. “Discovering and mapping natural bioactives to human health benefits was just the first step for Brightseed. Now, we’re launching clinically-studied ingredients and insights to illuminate the hidden potential in nature to restore human health.”

Companies, governments, NGOs and academics are recognizing that the path to sustainable health is rooted in a synergistic approach to food, medicine and nature – but the lack of scientific insight into the molecular basis of specifically how food has an impact on health has limited innovation.

Created by Lee Chae, PhD., Brightseed’s co-founder, CTO and former researcher at the Stanford Carnegie Institute of Plant Biology, Forager systematically identifies natural bioactives and maps their connection to human health benefits at an unprecedented depth and rate. This accelerated discovery of health-benefiting compounds has potential implications for food & agriculture, nutrition policy and nature-based drug design.

To date, Forager has mapped more than two million plant compounds – 20 times more than existing scientific literature – and dozens are in various stages of validation across multiple health territories, including metabolic health, digestive health, cognitive health, sugar management, maternal health and immunity.

Brightseed’s partners – including Danone SA, Ocean Spray, ofi (olam food ingredients) and Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made® vitamins – have turned to Brightseed for a deeper understanding of plant supply chains and health benefits in service of future product innovation. In addition to their work with partners, Brightseed leads discovery, validation and commercialization of compounds to target complex, chronic and undermet health conditions.

Brightseed’s first discovery, two bioactive compounds identified in upcycled hemp hulls, will launch later this year as an FDA GRAS whole-food ingredient for gut health. To support the launch of Brightseed’s ingredient business, the company is opening a second location in the “Research Triangle Park” of Raleigh, North Carolina. Brightseed’s Science Center in South San Francisco will continue to be the home of Brightseed’s plant library, world-class technology stack, and compound discovery efforts – informed by metabolomics, bioinformatics, natural products chemistry, biomedicine, and translational and clinical research teams. Brightseed is partnering with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. in both regions to customize facilities to support the company’s growing life sciences footprint and specialized ingredient production.

“Consumers are increasingly looking for natural and accessible solutions to restore their health, but industry has been severely limited by a lack of tools and technologies to look more deeply into nature’s potential to do that,” said Sofia Elizondo, co-founder and COO. “Brightseed is building the opportunity space for health innovation rooted in nature, and delivering a clear path forward for clinical validation. We are eager to make our bioactives readily accessible for food and health industries as we move from lab to shelf, and embrace consumers along the journey of bioactive discovery.”

Brightseed is hiring for roles based at its South San Francisco and Raleigh locations. Please visit Brightseed’s career page for openings.

About Natural Bioactives
Natural bioactives are health-activating, small molecule compounds that plants use to communicate with their environment. Plant bioactives show up as curcumin in turmeric, caffeine in tea, the active ingredient in aspirin, and even in some cancer drugs. Science has long known that plant bioactives are critical to human health, yet 99% remain unknown and uncharted. Brightseed’s A.I., Forager, is illuminating this unknown compound space by discovering bioactives in the natural world and mapping them to human health outcomes.

About Brightseed
Brightseed illuminates nature to restore human health. Brightseed’s Forager® is a pioneering computational platform and A.I. that discovers and maps the bioactive compounds in nature and understands which of them have the greatest impact on human health. Discoveries undergo clinical evaluation, regulatory review, and commercial development to deliver powerful, natural health solutions. To date, Forager has mapped 2 million plant compounds, and Brightseed is working with brands and organizations that impact the health of millions of people every day. Interested organizations can contact Brightseed by reaching out to

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Serene Buckley
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